Thai cooks drive animals wild: park chief

Thai cooks drive animals wild: park chief

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) will impose new environmental protection rule that would ban visitors from cooking food with a strong odour, particularly barbecued meats, after noting the effect it has been having on nearby wild animals.

Visitors to national parks often enjoy outdoor cooking during their stay and rustle up particularly mouth-watering meals outside their tents, said Dumras Phoprasit, director of DNP's National Park Office said.

Monkeys and deer are known for nosing around campers' tents at meal times, according to the director.

"The rubbish issues are actually easier to deal with than this culinary problem. If the campers in all 200 tents grill at the same time, the smoke can blanket the area," said Mr Dumras, adding: "The DNP has a responsibility to be a role model for maintaining environment."

He said the ban has no clauses relating to simple meals being cooked, and boiling instant noodles or brewing coffee are still permitted under the rules, which target pungent odours.

However, there will now be designated times for cooking, possibly between 6pm and 9pm.

To provide convenience, he said the DNP will prepare a cooking area for visitors and make sure onsite shops include eateries which are well stocked with edible food that doesn't require an elaborate barbeque.

In future, DNP plans to make sure there are canteens in every national park, whether run by the park or by franchises, he said.

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